Picking up essentially where we left off, one of the things that has come up for me over and over, in periods of transition but also at other times, is an art called: how to love what you’ve got while striving to manifest what might come next.
Another version of this is how to accept disappointment or defeat as part of the….and I rarely use this word so apologies but….journey.
The crux is – what do you do when you aren’t quite where you want to be, you’re hitting obstacles and you need to keep moving forward?
I’ve got three techniques – or rather, two things I keep in mind, and one technique – and here they are:
Accept That What You Think You Might Have Wanted Might Not Be Right For You
When I was in college I decided to become a journalist. I struggled through the Intro to Journalism class producing material that was not exactly inspiring. I had trouble coming up with any kind of spicy writing given the confines of prescribed subject matter and journalistic writing style. As the semester ended, I also ended up romantically involved with my journalism professor.
I got a C in the class. I found out later, under the sheets, because that’s when people sometimes tell you the truth. I found out that he had given me the highest grade he possibly could that would guarantee that I would not be able to take the next class up, and become a journalist. You needed a C+ and I got a C. I wasn’t very happy about it at the time, I’ll tell you that.
He thought I was smart, but he didn’t think I belonged in journalism.
We broke up, because it turned out his idea of separated was actually being still married. He said that I gave him the courage to get out of his marriage and that if he ever found someone he had such a great connection with again, he wanted to be in a position to marry her. Or at least date, straight up.
Don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s a little sordid but this all has a happy ending.
Years later I was in medical school and my mom was working at a big company and weird thing happened but my journalism teacher started working with my mom. I’m gonna tell you right now that he was a great guy, despite the blips.
Turns out two things. One is that he divorced and married the next woman he had a great connection with – and they are still happily married. Next thing is that he began telling his students at the start of his journalism class a story about a prior student who got the thumbs down and a C in his class, but went on to become a doctor, anyway!
Meaning, relax. Not everything is right for you, but something will be right for you. And someone. Remember, he didn’t get me, but he got the girl.
Also meaning, you may not get there first try. You might need to keep checking things out til things click (But get your ducks lined up so you are ready.)
Things Won’t Always Be This Way
I use this phrase all the time. Most people think it’s something you say to yourself as a reminder that things will get better. But I use it differently.
I use it to remind myself that there are good things about where I am. When things change, inevitably you lose some of the good that you have right now. Don’t forget that.
Take my house full of animals. Really, just take them. They are a royal pain sometimes.
When the pig gets noisy in the morning and demands breakfast long before I’m ready to get up, I’ve taken to saying to myself, and sometimes shouting at any disagreeable housemates that not everyone gets to live with a pig!
And it’s true.
A lot of people want to live with a pig but not everyone gets to. This pig isn’t going to live forever. So quit bitching and enjoy him, already.
Same with the dogs. I have too many and it’s a real issue.
A small issue is that right now, I have Zoe the Frenchie licking my arm and it’s driving me crazy. (Yeah, I’m in bed, but I got up at 7, fed the dogs, fed the pig, and I’m over the covers, blogging). In a few minutes she’ll settle down and I’ll be writing surrounded by sleeping mutt times six, and nothing is cozier. Breathe, 2, 3, 4…..
The dogs have also put a bit of a damper on my social life. It makes me a little shy about having people over because when you walk into my house, you get barked at and you might get a nip on the heels, especially if you hate dogs. My dogs are the dogs nobody wanted, except Garth and Roxy.
But it won’t always be like this, and I got to run an animal welfare rescue years back, and now I’ve got some leftover dogs and that’s just the way it is. Also I’m a softie and that explains why when I was down to five, I got Zoe. Damn it!
Okay, so also, maybe the dogs have kept me home and grounded. Maybe they will inspire me to get a house with a nice big yard next.
Point is to enjoy them now, because one day I’m gonna look up and they’ll be gone.
Same with kids. They can drive you round the bend and exhaust every last nerve, but in those moments know that it won’t always be this way. They’re gonna move out one day and you’re gonna miss them. It won’t always be this way.
Don’t Overthink Something You Aren’t Ready To Do Something About.
Some people may like to daydream about the future.
In fact, nothing makes me crazier than wanting to make a change that I’m not able or ready to make.
Case in point. Moving.
I think I may want to move into a different living situation and this has been the source of considerable angst. Because selling my house is going to be a thing and I’m not even sure where it is I want to live next.
I was making myself bonkers and then it hit me – I’m not ready to do this yet. It might be because my kids are still on the payroll. And I don’t know how things will shake down when they are financially independent. I might not be as broke as I think I am. Maybe I could fix up this house after all!
Maybe the cosmos is blocking me from making a change because other things are going to happen that might influence my decision about where to live. It’s unlikely, but I could meet an intelligent goat farmer from Sonoma and find myself living on his farm. That was Susan’s idea. It’s not bad! Mmmmm goat cheese….
So the take home here is that sometimes when you aren’t ready to move, it can be better to stop thinking about it. Your subconscious will be working overtime, trust me here. One day the perfect answer will come to you. Fretting and demanding an answer from the universe NOW aint gonna get you anywhere but perusing the antacid isle at CVS. And no ulcers are allowed, so knock it off.
My technique is to break it down. Pick something you can do (like fix the old credit score) that will prepare you for when you are ready to bust a move. Do the small things that will make it possible to act when conviction hits. But relax about not knowing the outcome. Soon enough, my precious.
These are brain hacks that keep me sane. I would love to hear from you in the comments section, here. Facebook comments are nice, but they are lost forever once read. So comment here if you’ve got any of your own sayings that you tell yourself. I promise to refer to them often.
Peace, Love and Jerry Garcia,